Vietnam has increasingly become a favourite of foreign investors worldwide, said Il Sole 24 Ore, an Italian national business newspaper.

The article titled “I capitali esteri scelgono il Vietnam” (Foreign capitals choose Vietnam) on May 12 said foreign direct investment (FDI) to Vietnam reached 24 million USD last year, a 31 percent surge against 2013. The country garnered 9 percent of the foreign capital destined for Asia, making it the second largest destination of FDI in the continent after China.

The number of FDI projects doubled to 241 in 2014 from 118 in 2013, it added.

Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 6 percent last year and is expected to grow to 6.1 percent and 6.2 percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

According to Il Sole 24 Ore, the promising manufacturing sector coupled with relatively low labour costs were key factors attracting foreign investors to the country despite growing competition from other economies in the region, such as Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia.

Citing FDI Markets, a service of Financial Times, the paper noted that the main reason why 60 percent of surveyed foreign investors chose Vietnam is the rapid growth of its domestic market. Around 10 percent were lured by the low Vietnamese labour costs relative to other regional countries.

US-based Proctor and Gamble has announced the construction of a 100 million USD factory in southern Binh Duong province, the manufacturing heartland of the country, while Samsung was considering transferring its production of LCD screens to Vietnam or China due to the rise in labour costs in the Republic of Korea, it said.

Samsung is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam and about to become the largest foreign employer in the country.

Although FDI in Vietnam rose by 5 percent during the first four months of 2015, the country has begun to tighten its belt towards the goal of developing a more sustainable economy.

Several provinces of the nation have rejected investment projects that were likely to increase pollution, consume too much land or require a considerable amount of unskilled labour.

According to the newspaper, it is a good time for Italian companies who can provide technologies and expertise to improve the quality of production in Vietnam to invest.-VNA